Singer/songwriting troubadour, Claude Munson, set up his guitar, amp, and stool inside the back area at FarmTeam Cookhouse, which provided intimate charm and warm acoustics within the wooden interior. Armed with his small-bodied Guild acoustic guitar, he delivered a riveting solo set of his original material, along with a couple of uniquely covered songs.
Immediately, I was mesmerised by the title track from his upcoming album, The Silence Came After. The smoky high timbres of his voice were intricately wrapped around a minor key lullaby melody, and I was drawn in by the song’s poetic lyrics. Others like “Broken Stairs” had a hypnotizing music box charm, and a love song entitled, “Sweet Love,” lulled the audience with its instrumental and lyrical poignancy.
The only glitch of the night came when Munson was deterred slightly by a missing capo. He did manage to MacGyver a pen and elastic treatment around the neck to play a couple… it was interesting to see how well that actually worked. Then came a broken guitar string, which Munson fixed in under three minutes. The audience remained completely unfazed, and the show resumed full steam.
Munson led us into the vibrant island flavour of “Love Comes Knocking,” which brought to mind the catchy tones of Paul Simon’s Graceland material. No sooner had I mentioned this to my friend, Arielle, when he churned out a rendition of Paul Simon’s, “She’s Got Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes” …pure magic. I also loved his stylings on The Animals classic, “House Of The Rising Sun.”
Both songs, “Madness” and “Cold Man” had more of those tender, winding melodies, lyrically filled with unabashed sensitivity and truth that brought a hush of silence over the audience. I was reminded of artists like Passenger, whose material conveys those similar tones.
Hearing amazing acts tonight reminded me of the wealth of talent Ottawa has, and the show of support we need to give them in order to nurture their craft. Events like Marvest, give our local artists a platform to achieve just that.